Swimming & Snow

The most sought after summer accessory as a kid was the brightly colored wristband that gave the wearer the right to navigate the deep end of the pool.  With this, you were no longer restricted to the shallows and instead were allowed free reign of the diving board and slides.

Before you could obtain this treasure however, you had to pass THE SWIM TEST.  This involved swimming a certain number of laps, being able to jump off the diving board and not need rescuing and the most dreadful of all, treading water.

On the surface, treading water seems the most innocuous of all the tasks, after all, all you have to do is keep your head above the water.  No real skill, style, or bravado needed.  After even a short time of treading water though, it is clear that this is the most trying test of them all.  It’s not long before your arms and legs start to tire and your chin gets closer and closer to the water.

So what has me thinking of swimming and summer when I’m surrounded by the nearly three feet of snow that has incapacitated our area and cancelled school for the past three days?  It was a comment Jessica made about how we should be back to blogging by now but that she’s been feeling she’s treading water in her classroom and that it’s taking all she can to keep her head up.  Of course, if I can liken teaching to sky diving like I did here, I can pretty much tie anything to teaching.

The parallels are there. Diving off the board is like the beginning of the year when you can’t wait to just jump in. Swimming the laps is like when you’ve found yourself in a little bit of a groove and things are going well.  And the rest of the time, well, that’s when you are just keeping your head up treading water.

But as I’m starting at the mounds of fresh snow out the window, I’m wondering if treading water isn’t the most important skill of them all. How bad it is if, every once in a while, we dunk under water.  As long as we don’t drown, being immersed can be refreshing, a reminder of why we got in the pool in the first place.

It is with this perspective that I’ve decided a few things:

  1. Treading water is essential to becoming a strong swimmer and enjoying the deep end.  Feeling a little like it’s taking all we can just to survive is proof that we can do plenty but that we don’t have to be perfect at it all, all the time.
  2. Since we don’t have to be perfect at it all, it’s ok to share when we are feeling a little under the water.
  3. It is time to get back to blogging!



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